I knew it was time to put our daughter in the church nursery. She was becoming a distraction during the service. A cute distraction, but a distraction nonetheless. Gone were the days when she would sweetly sleep in our arms throughout the sermon. Now we had a wiggle worm who smiled and cooed at everyone.
Even though I could see our daughter was a distraction during church, this SAHM wasn’t mentally prepared to put her daughter in the nursery. I was nervous to let a stranger care for my baby. And, I was sad to see my baby growing up so quickly. We stretched our time with her sitting on our laps a couple more Sundays by choosing a seat in the back row. This momma needed to take baby steps. One Sunday, we talked about the nursery – just talked. The next Sunday, we looked at the nursery through the observation window – just looked. Then, the following Sunday, I put on my big girl pants and said, “We are putting her in the nursery today.” I had to say these words very quickly because tears were about to stream down my face.
Long story short, we survived, and I know you will, too. It has been a joy to be fully present at church while our daughter is cared for in the nursery.
Here are some tips we’ve learned along the way:
Fully stock your diaper bag! Diapers, wipes, bottle, sippy cup, burp cloth, change of clothes, anything familiar and fun. But, please leave the toys at home. I especially found a bottle to be soothing for our daughter the first couple times in the nursery.
Attend a service that lines up well with you baby’s schedule. If your church offers different service times, find one that works best for your family now that your little one isn’t just sleeping the morning away.
Be consistent. The first couple times can be hard. Keep going, momma! It will get easier for both your little one and you as a parent. Once you’ve made the decision, stick with it.
Volunteer in the nursery. This is a great way to meet families who have children the same age as your child.
Ask questions and get to know the nursery staff. Those lovely people working in the nursery want you and your child to be comfortable, too. Take the time to get to know the people who will be with your child when you’re in service.
What tips would you offer a new mom trying the nursery?